We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has confirmed a grant of £4.85 million to help fund these galleries, which are due to open in 2016. This major award means that over £10 million of funding is now in place for the project, including £900,000 from the Scottish Government to renew the roof of the west wing of the Victorian building, where some of the new galleries will be located. A fundraising campaign is underway to realise the remainder from private sources.
The innovative new galleries will explore the excitement and impact of scientific discovery and invention and the creativity of applied arts, fashion and design. They will champion excellence and innovation - an inspiration for the scientists, engineers, artists and designers of today and tomorrow. Showcasing over 3,500 objects, display space for these exhibits will increase by over 40%, with three-quarters of them not having previously been on permanent display for generations.
The development is the third stage of an ambitious £80 million Masterplan to restore the much loved Victorian building to its former grandeur, reveal the remarkable treasures of National Museums Scotland’s collections and create inspiring visitor experiences.
Six Wedgwood plates designed by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, a flamboyant coat by internationally renowned fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, an early camera by William Henry Fox Talbot, the father of photography, and a state of the art prosthetic i-limb designed by Scottish firm Touch Bionics are just a selection from the outstanding collections which will be displayed in the new galleries.
Our display New for the National Collection, at the National Museum of Scotland until 22 February 2015, showcases a selection of objects destined for the new galleries, including a groundbreaking Bond Electraglide carbon fibre guitar and a dazzling selection of Scottish silver.
We also plan to develop two further galleries at the National Museum, to present our ancient Egyptian and East Asian collections. Both of these collections are internationally important and amongst the finest in the UK.
A new Ancient Egypt gallery will explore the complexity and diversity of this fascinating culture. The East Asia gallery will highlight major themes in the region’s arts, culture and history, enabling visitors to encounter and be inspired by the richness, depth, and diversity of the culture of China, Japan and Korea. These two galleries are scheduled to be completed in 2018.
To make way for the redesign and transformation of the existing spaces, the following galleries are now closed and their objects decanted into storage: Looking East, European Styles, Shaping our World, Ancient Egypt, Communicate and Art and Industry. The Connect gallery will close on 29 September 2014.
The Research Library will remain open as usual during the project, but visitors wishing to use the service should make an appointment beforehand. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 247 4137 to make an appointment.